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Armor/AFV: Allied - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Allied forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
MiniArt Grant w/interior build log interest?
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 - 03:22 AM UTC
Nice! But I donít see transitioning to building floaty things in my future. I would like to tackle that PE set though...
raivo74
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Vilnius, Lithuania
Joined: November 09, 2009
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 93 posts
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 - 01:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I only started building armor, so I could try to solder some of the more complicated PE details and try the more involved painting processes.



Oh, I can see your next challenge

PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 - 01:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

More brilliant tips while watching you build this work of art, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Soldering PE always seems a PITA for me and now I know why...



That made me laugh! The funny thing is, I was an airplane only guy for years. I only started building armor, so I could try to solder some of the more complicated PE details and try the more involved painting processes.
Kornbeef
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 06, 2005
KitMaker: 1,659 posts
Armorama: 43 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 06:05 PM UTC
More brilliant tips while watching you build this work of art, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. Soldering PE always seems a PITA for me and now I know why...
TankManNick
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California, United States
Joined: February 01, 2010
KitMaker: 465 posts
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Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 04:40 PM UTC
Very neat PE soldering there. I'm going to have to up my game for sure when next I try it!
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 03:36 PM UTC
Final Grant update for the weekend. I completed assembly of the second stowage rail so that is a win. I still have a lot of handling to do, so I will leave them off for a while.



Here is a pretty large heads up for those building this kit. The canvas cover for the main gun will not fit if you choose to install the fender mounted PE stowage box. The only way for it to fit in its as molded condition is to build the kit with the tool and tripod mounts installed. After finding that out, I decided to reevaluate the paint scheme Iíd chosen. Once I came up with a good alternative, I cleaned up the gun without the canvas cover and installed it.





PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 05:12 PM UTC
This is the third an final installment of the Grant stowage rail assembly process.

The hanger bracket is cleaned up and folded into shape.



The location on the stowage rail is cleaned with the glass fiber brush.



The area has flux and solder applied to tin the brackets location.



A heat sink is placed between the hanger and the previous square tube fitting. Flux is applied to the soldering area and the bracket is put in place. A flake or solder is placed at the angled joint on each side.



Here is the part after it is soldered in place and the burnt flux is cleaned away with alcohol.



Here is a picture showing the proximity of the hanger and the square tube fitting. You can see why heat sinks are needed for this job.



And last is a picture of the full assembly.



I hope someone finds this walkthrough of the rail assembly useful.

Cheers
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 05:14 AM UTC
Stowage rail construction installment two...

The box shaped fittings are removed from the PE sheet and cleaned up in the normal way. Removal of the attachment points and sanding to ensure no trace of the stub remains ensures the fit if the bend will be correct

Note: the part bends are not symmetrical, which means all bends should be made in the same order and in the same manner to improve the chance of having identical parts after folding. Iíve tried varying the bend order and for me it always produces dissimilar parts...





The best way to ensure part edges remain square to the assembly is a PE folding tool. You can bend PE with pliers and with tweezers 90% of the time and be perfectly fine, but when assemblies have to be bent and be identical, those methods introduce variables which are very hard to control and repeat. In the case of the tweezers, be aware that bending PE with them rounds the edges of the tool and makes picking up and holding delicate parts harder.



Here the part is bent into the completed shape.



The part is cleaned with the glass fiber brush, flux is applied lightly and a small flake of solder is placed in the joint.



Here is the joint after soldering and cleanup with alcohol.



Here is the main rail the has been cleaned, fluxed, tinned and cleaned with alcohol for installation of the part.



The same part after installation.



The next part is bent an soldered, the rail is repositioned, the install area is prepped and I apply flux to the clean joint. Before proceeding, I install a flat jawed copper heat sink to prevent de soldering the previous joints. The heat sink is rested on a ball of Blu Tack to prevent distortion of the part. When doing this task, Iíd highly recommend not using standard alligator clips as the teeth prevent them from being a good heat sink and can damage you PE parts.



Here is the part after installation and cleanup.



This same process is used for each component added to the rail. Work from one end to the other as much as you can and use heat sinks to protect your previous work. Next installment covers the attachment of the rail hangers.

Cheers



PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Friday, February 21, 2020 - 01:26 AM UTC
Here is the first Installment on the Grant stowage rail assembly.

In this picture, the rail has been removed from the sheet and the attachment points cleaned up. The integral support bar has been bent to its 90 degree shape and the area for it attachment to the rail is cleaned for soldering with a glass fiber brush. Please note, when soldering, oxidation of the parts will interfere with the joints so we clean them before soldering and every time we apply heat.



In this photo Iíve taped the rail to a small block of wood to prevent the piece from losing too much heat as it would on glass or metal surfaces. Iíve applied a small amount of flux and a small flake of solder to the area and tinned it to prepare for the joint.



Next Iíve bent the support bar into position and verified that itís straight from multiple angles.



Next, I apply flux to the area and place a very small flake of solder in the angle of the joint. This flake is cut from a roll of solder wire and is only about .5mm across.



Using the largest tip I can fit into the area to effect quick transfer, I touch the joint with the soldering iron. Heat from the iron melts the solder flake and pulls it into the joint.



Here is the joint after the burnt flux is cleaned away using isopropyl alcohol and a small brush. Iím always looking for a smooth shiny fillet when finished. If the finish is rough and grainy, the joint needs to be redone. Please note that flux residue must always be cleaned for joint inspection and, more importantly, good paint adhesion.



End of installment one
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 04:57 PM UTC
Thanks for the kind words. Over the next few days I intend to post the process used to solder together the PE stowage rails located on the sides of the kit.

About five years ago, I posted an article on Armorama called Soldering Brass, Copper and Photo Etch which covers the equipment, tools, supplies and methods needed to solder. This was a general or generic piece and may be of some use to anyone interested.

The posts I intend to put in this build log will be focused on how I work through assembly of the items in this kit. Hopefully someone will find it useful.

Cheers
Paul H
ivanhoe6
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: April 05, 2007
KitMaker: 1,866 posts
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Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 01:43 AM UTC
Morning Paul,
Thanks for all the track tips ! Especially draping the tracks over the brass tube to get in at the nooks & crannies. A simple solution to a problem, one that I never thought about and will use often now.
Thanks for that and taking the time to share with us and answer all of our questions!
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 01:21 AM UTC
Congrats on the new kit! Iíve really enjoyed working on mine. Iím also glad to hear youíre finding this build interesting. Hopefully it will stay that way ...

Cheers
Paul H
pzandt
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United States
Joined: January 02, 2013
KitMaker: 65 posts
Armorama: 54 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 06:19 PM UTC
Enjoy reading and watching your build so much, that I went out and got the same kit. Thanks for posting and for sharing the neat tricks and skills.
raivo74
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Vilnius, Lithuania
Joined: November 09, 2009
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 93 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 07:39 AM UTC
Thanks for clarification, Paul.
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 06:16 AM UTC
Many of the Grants did have the hull openings welded over, but many did not. Early Grants were supposed to have the hull machine guns in place, and there was direction that the guns could be removed in the Apr-May Ď42 time frame. I have seen photos from that time period with guns in place, guns removed and the holes still visible and those with the ports welded closed. I would be very hesitant to say that a message indicating something may be done was put in place universally and in a specific manner once vehicles hit the field.

I will say that unless someone has specific photos of a specific vehicle on a specific day, the variables are too big to say for sure.

Donít know if that answers your question, but basically, it depends on the vehicle.
raivo74
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Vilnius, Lithuania
Joined: November 09, 2009
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 93 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 09:47 PM UTC
Neat soldering, Paul, keep it going.

I am no expert on Grant, but if I remember right, the hull MGs have been cancelled on Lees at some point and their apertures would be welded down. Have they decided to leave it on the British version?
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Monday, February 17, 2020 - 02:46 PM UTC
Better late than never, here a few pics of the stowage basket and right side light guard.





This week, I plan on working on the PE stowage support rails on the sides...
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
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Posted: Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 03:33 PM UTC
Today was the day for small detail items. First up, I folded and soldered the brackets for the tripod.



While the soldering gear was out I went ahead and took care of the basket for the right side fender.





The brackets are installed using CA glue. I just have pretty much reached the conclusion that I donít gain anything by attaching sheet styrene to the PE and then placing with standard cement. The parts stick up higher and are easier to knock off.



I wired and installed the light assembly on the left side and the bent and installed the guard.





I did the cleanup and wiring on the right side. I installed the fender support and completely reworked the siren do to a huge amount of mold offset.



I managed to lose one of small light assemblies, so I had to make another on the lathe. Do to this problem I didnít have time to get the guard installed before the end of my modeling session. Luckily, thereís always tomorrow...

PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 03:52 AM UTC
As an additional heads up for those looking to build a specific Grant Mk I, the interior kit which this build log covers only comes with the squared-off factory style sand skirts.

If you want to build the version that has the more rounded style fit by the in-theater shops, those are available in Miniartís non-interior version of the Grant.

The Takom release has the factory style squared-off style sand skirts.

This may have been discussed elsewhere, but I havenít seen it, so I thought Iíd mention it since I just Installed those items on my build.

PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 02:52 PM UTC
Had a snow day today, so I took the opportunity to make a bit of progress on the Grant. First up, I test fit the sand skirts and found the left one had a substantial gap where it attaches to the hull. Checking ahead in the instructions, I didnít see anything that would cause this to be needed, so I cut a piece of styrene, filled the gap and faired the addition into the shield.



Here is the area once installation was completed.



I pressed on with the install of both sides and here are a few pictures of the skirts once fitted.





Next up was the assembly and installation of the storage boxes on the rear sides. The instructions show building the boxes and installing the photo-etched brackets before placing the boxes on the model, but that seemed to be asking for trouble. Instead, I cemented the main box assemblies in place and then attached the PE brackets. Iím very glad I did, as the brackets only fit one way. Notice there is one side of the piece thatís shorter and this is the side that attaches to the box.



I pre-bent the parts to an approximate angle and then test fit.



When placed, I used a chisel to complete the bend in place.



The part was removed and I used DAP Rapidfuse to attach the parts. I saw this on Paul Budzikís website and he was correct, I works beautifully.



Hereís todayís overall progress.









Hope this saves someone some headaches...


PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
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Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Monday, February 10, 2020 - 01:42 AM UTC
I considered simulating wear with pitting and chunking on both the wheels and the track pads, but I i was leaning towards a pretty fresh to the fray build. The tracks on the Grant certainly did chunk in desert conditions, but this took a while. As for the wheels, based on the photos Iíve seen, those seem to have a tendency to wear more smoothly.

Again, I donít disagree with your idea, I just chose to do a newer tank and the weathering to follow should hopefully reflect that.

Thanks for the helpful feedback!
Dioramartin
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: May 04, 2016
KitMaker: 1,162 posts
Armorama: 1,157 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 09:55 PM UTC
Yowza apart from the slick track fix Iím really impressed by the weathering on the bogies & hull plates Ė from what Iíd call scale-distance the random colour variations look perfect/superb. In ultra close-up maybe the rusty shade needs moderating but overall exceptional - if you can keep that standard up thisíll be a prize-winner in any show. (PS others will know better than I, but is there an argument that the rubber wheels need some wear/pitting?)
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
Armorama: 547 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 02:44 PM UTC
This weekís progress on the Grant.

I mixed up an oil paint wash from 502 Abteilung Wash Brown and Sand Brown for German Armor and applied it to the detail areas on the hull sides. The color did not turn out as Iíd hoped, but I decided to work with it.



It was time to prime/paint the tracks for installation, so I laid the runs out and sprayed them with Badger Stynylrez Black Primer. I draped the runs over a rod to enable me to get coverage in between the track links and on the sides.



While the track runs were drying, I randomly applied pigments from Ammo of Mig and touched certain places with Pigment Fixer to get the random weathering I prefer. The colors used were Sand, Rubble, and North Africa Dust.



I also drybrushed Vallejo Dark Aluminumí onto the outer edges of the road wheels and on the tips of the drive sprockets. The idler wheels were roughly drybrushed at the same time.







I misted a random coat of Tamiya Buff over the track runs and roughly drybrushed Vallejo Dark Aluminum onto the guide horns.





Moving on to the track run install, I decided that I wanted to fit the last link without trimming, so I used the old tie the track ends together trick to allow the installation of the last link. The thread used is .0005 thick invisible thread.



The outer link piece is put in place and the connecting links for one side are positioned in their cutouts and cemented using Tamiyaís Extra Thin cement.



Once that had set I put cement in the center cutout like I did when assembling the track runs and I set the inner pad piece in place.



The link was then painted to match the rest of the track run.





There are lots of ways to accomplish this process, but this is how I decided to tackle the job. The plan is for this area to be covered up while I press forward with the build. Bottom line, the initial weathering and installation of the tracks is behind me.

Cheers!
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
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Posted: Friday, February 07, 2020 - 05:22 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Nice work on them tracks.



Thanks! Glad to have the basic track assembly step behind me...
PRH001
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New Mexico, United States
Joined: June 16, 2014
KitMaker: 625 posts
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Posted: Friday, February 07, 2020 - 05:15 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Not long ago I purchased the Miniart M3 Lee. Was nearly ready to start when Miniart released the Australian M3 Lee. Had to buy that too! My Grandfather was a driver in the 2nd Aust Tank Btn.



Peter, I canít think of a better reason to tackle an M3 Lee! I really hope there is something in this log youíll find useful for your build.

Good luck!